Posted on the CNN news blog by Jay Kernis, Grover Norquist said in an interview Monday night: “The central goal of Americans for Tax Reform is to reduce the cost and burden of taxation on the American people. We oppose increasing taxes.  We support moving to a top income tax rate of 25% for both individuals and businesses and eliminating tax credits and deductions such that tax reform is revenue neutral-not a hidden tax increase.  This is also the goal of the Paul Ryan budget passed overwhelmingly by the Republican House and gaining 40 votes in the Senate this year. Tax reform, yes.  Tax increase, no. Helping drive this effort, Americans for Tax Reform asks all candidates for federal office to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. So why are we talking about ethanol? Misdirection.  Some politicians who know that the American people want congress to reduce spending-not raise taxes—are trying once again to promote tax increases.  But they cannot say “tax increase” out loud so they pretend they are talking about something else.”

From The Washington Examiner, Tim Carney writes: “Without wading too deep into the current fight between ATR and one of my favorite senators, Tom Coburn, I want to add that I agree with ATR's Grover Norquist that Republicans should never offer up tax hikes, and if they will repeal bad tax credits, they should pair it with a rate reduction. Here's my quibble with my colleague Conn. He writes, ‘Lower taxes will always be the bread and butter of Republican policy. But for too long, a single-minded focus on lowering rates and revenues has locked the party into abetting bad public policy.’ I would say there has been insufficient focus on lowering rates and too much willingness to play the Obamanomics game of using tax credits to pick winners and losers. But that's probably a semantic disagreement. Carroll is saying that tax cutting has displaced tax reform, and he's right on that. We need both, and the two go together: eliminate tax credits and pair those credits with rate reductions, yielding a cleaner, lower tax code. You don't have to be on the right-hand side of the Laffer curve to raise revenue by cutting taxes if your tax cutting also makes the code more neutral. If government revenues in turn rise, guess what? You can cut rates a bit more.”